Founded in 1978 by Toni Pimble and Riley Grannan, the Eugene Ballet Company has grown from a community-based dance group to become one the West's busiest and most versatile professional dance companies. The Company has performed in over 100 cities in 32 U.S. States and internationally to Canada, India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Syria, Jordan, Tunisia and Taiwan.
Over the years, the EBC has grown to become a 21-member fully professional ballet company that performs a wide range of classical and contemporary works with four-production resident seasons at the 2,500-seat Hult Center for the Performing Arts in Eugene as well as annually touring throughout the region.
The EBC has presented over 100 different ballets, created and staged by award winning Artistic Director Toni Pimble and many of the country's finest choreographers including Anna Marie Holmes, Bruce Marks, Lynne Taylor-Corbett, Paul Vasterling, Robert Battle, Charles Bennett, Daniel Pelzig, Jill Eathorne Bahr, Dennis Spaight, Paul Vasterling, Eloy Barragan among others. From full length classical ballets (Swan Lake, Cinderella, The Sleeping Beauty, Don Quixote, Cinderella) to contemporary works like Lynne Taylor-Corbett's In A Word, Robert Battle's Circle, Line Square and Jill Eathorne Bahr's Captured Angel and family programs that include Bruce Steivel's Peter Pan, Ken Kesey's Little Tricker The Squirrel Meets Big Double The Bear and Daniel Pelzig's Princess & The Pea, the Company has always sought to present a wide variety of programming for its audiences.
The works of resident choreographer Toni Pimble has long been a mainstay of Company repertory. Ms. Pimble has been awarded a Choreographer Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts and Master's Fellowship from the Oregon Arts Commission. Included in the 40+ works created for the Company have been collaborations with a number of creative artists in a variety of disciplines including author Ken Kesey, native American storyteller Ed Edmo, blues singer Curtis Salgado, silk artist Steve Oshatz, composers Erik Lundborg and Patricia Vann Ness, Thomas Lauderdale and the band Pink Martini, acclaimed theatrical designer Michael Curry, among others. From Children of the Raven (based on the legends of the Native American Pacific Northwest Coast tribes) to Still Falls The Rain (inspired by a story of Taliban intolerance) to Columba Aspexit (thematically based on the oppression of women) to The Skinwalkers (inspired by the work of Native American Pueblo cubist painter Helen Hardin) to Silk & Steel (an exploration of movement and material), Ms. Pimble's work is known for being innovative, appealing and provocative. Musically, Ms. Pimble is a frequent collaborator with the Shedd Institute for the Arts having received commissions for a number of new works including The Adventures of Tom Sawyer with composer Dick Hyman, Sidney Bechet's La Colline du Delta, Stravinsky's Rite of Spring and Aaron Copland's The Red Pony.
Educational programs are also a focus of EBC activities, including affiliations with Young Audiences, the Lincoln Center Project, the Washington State Cultural Enrichment Program and Artist-In-Education programs promoted through local and regional arts councils. From master classes to performances and residencies, the EBC has presented over 1,000 performances region-wide including two month-long "Dance On Tour" residencies in Arizona and New Mexico sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts.
Over the past two decades, the EBC has been continuously recognized by the National Endowment for the Arts with Dance Company Grant awards and, in 1996, was the first Oregon dance company to be a recipient of the Governor's Arts Award.
The Eugene Ballet Company has set a high standard in the performing arts and has gained a loyal following of dance fans everywhere the Company has performed.